Digital Insurance Brokers Share Exclusive Open Enrollment Insights

Written by Rocio and published on ease.com/blog/ After surviving last year’s open enrollment in the midst of the pandemic, fewer than 1% of agencies expect to not do any business digitally this open enrollment (OE) season. Are you part of that club? (Psst: You don’t want to be.) This past July, brokers and other agency staff throughout the U.S. shared their thoughts during our annual open enrollment survey. You can check out these exclusive open enrollment insights in The 2021 Digital Broker’s Open Enrollment Readiness Report available now. Most agencies understand the need to be flexible and digital to meet their clients’ evolving expectations. Especially in a heated job market feeling the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, employers want game-changing solutions for engaging their current employees and attracting …

Surprise billing rule also strikes down insurer ED policies

Written by Robert King and published on FierceHealthcare.com A major rule that bans surprise medical bills also outlawed policies that let insurers retroactively deny emergency department claims. The Biden administration released an interim final rule Thursday that prohibits balance billing and includes several provisions requiring providers to notify patients of new consumer protections. But tucked into the 411-page regulation, the first in a series, is a provision that targets a controversial practice where insurers deny an ED claim if the diagnosis isn’t considered an emergency. The interim rule said that such a practice is “inconsistent with the emergency services requirement of the No Surprises Act and the [Affordable Care Act],” the rule said. UnitedHealthcare faced major blowback when it proposed …

The New Employee Benefits Practice In A Post-COVID World

Embracing flexibility is the key to a more productive workforce in the post-pandemic world. That was the word from Stephanie Berger, Centered Insurance Solutions, who shared the lessons her benefits brokerage firm learned after more than a year of remote working. Berger spoke at Monday’s National Association of Health Underwriter virtual annual convention.

More than 30% of hospitals are near the ‘danger zone’ of denial rates

Written by Jeff Lagasse and Published on Healthcare Finance News: https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/ Hospital claim denial rates have hit new highs, with a 20% increase in those rates over the past five years, suggesting that better claims denial management processes are necessary, finds a new survey from research firm Harmony Healthcare. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only made the trend worse, as 33% of hospital executives report average claims denial rates of 10% or more. Nationally, hospitals are facing average denials rates between 6 and 13%, which hospital leaders say is nearing the “danger zone.” Broken down even further, 31% of hospital executives reported average denial rates of less than 5%; 20% reported rates of 5 to 7%; and 16% reported rates …

Leveraging Health Care Reform To Address Underinsurance In Working Families

Written by Douglas Strane, Rebecka Rosenquist, & David Rubin. Published on Health Affairs: https://www.healthaffairs.org/ The signing of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March 2021 delivered a sweeping piece of legislation supporting families just as we reached the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. The $1.9 trillion package includes a number of measures that provide direct support to families, including several new provisions that make historic strides to reduce childhood poverty. Also within the ARPA are many provisions on health insurance coverage focused on making coverage options for individuals and families more affordable as the country emerges from the pandemic. As necessary as the ARPA’s coverage provisions and other federal pandemic relief packages have been, they do not address fundamental …

Healthcare costs for a family of four decrease for the first time in history

Written by Jess Lagasse, Associate Editor for Healthcare Finance News Editorial: https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/ For the first time in the 16-year history of the Milliman Medical Index, healthcare costs for a family of four have actually decreased, with the numbers dipping primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual MMI report found. The MMI, published by actuarial firm Milliman, measures healthcare costs for individuals and families receiving coverage from an employer-sponsored preferred provider plan. The ongoing public health emergency bore witness to a 4.2% decrease in healthcare costs. Based on restated claims data, healthcare costs for a hypothetical family of four in 2020 were $26,078, compared to $27,233 in 2019.  READ MORE

When Cardiac Deaths Rose During Pandemic, Minorities Suffered Most

SOURCE: Beth Israel Lahey Health, news release, May 18, 2021. Published  on https://consumer.healthday.com/ FRIDAY, May 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) — During the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, heart disease and stroke deaths rose in the United States, but a new study shows the increases were much larger in minority groups. Researchers compared monthly cause-of-death data for March to April 2020 to the same period in 2019. They found that heart disease deaths rose about 19% among Black people, Hispanic folks and Asian individuals. These groups also saw a 13% relative increase in deaths from stroke and other types of disease caused by interrupted blood flow to the brain, researchers reported. Increases were 2% and 4%, respectively, among white people, …

Texas House Eying A Thursday Vote On Medicaid Expansion

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC and Published on https://insurancenewsnet.com/ As the Texas House takes up the roughly $250 billion state budget on Thursday, Democrats will propose an amendment to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act — and they could have the votes for it to pass. State leaders are facing heightened pressure to expand coverage through the joint state-federal program to more low-income Texans after the federal government this month rescinded approval for a waiver that delivers billions of dollars to a safety net program for uninsured Texans. A bipartisan group of legislators urged their colleagues to consider bills that would expand Medicaid in a joint statement on Monday, the same day that 188 organizations and local …

Special Enrollment Period for Individual Health Coverage

REMINDER! President Joe Biden signed an executive order on January 28, 2021, that creates a special enrollment period between February 15 and August 15 for Americans to sign up for individual market coverage on the HealthCare.gov exchanges. Need help finding an agent? You can find a CAHU agent HERE or a NAHU agent here.

CAHU Recognized with Gold Certification

Columbus Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) was recently recognized with Gold Certification on March 24, 2021. CAHU was recognized for this award as part of NAHU’s Chapter Certification Program, which is an ongoing program that recognizes excelling chapters throughout the calendar year. “The leadership of NAHU members has a far-reaching impact on providing for the healthcare needs of individuals, families and business in their communities. We are grateful for CAHU’s hard work with chapter development and recognize them for their efforts with this well-deserved award,” said NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein. “CAHU exemplifies the dedication to providing the best opportunities for our members through their dedication to chapter development,” said Michael Staebler, president of CAHU. “This year, CAHU hosted several virtual …